Before we do lunch… let me catch you up to speed….
I attended four elementary schools in four different states as I was growing up. I’d been attending the latest (fourth) school since 5th grade, so I’d had a year’s worth of experience relating to the kids there by the time a new girl arrived and joined my 6th grade class. I think that I was partially drawn to her because I knew what it was like to be new and wanted to help her fit in quickly… and also because I knew that she knew what it was like to move around….
Her name was Lisa and, as time went on, she became my closest friend. We spent numerous weekends having sleepovers or just hanging out — talking about boys, both famous ones in magazines… and the ones we liked at school. I remember playing Uno with her at her house… and ping pong in her basement. Her dad would make us home-style country sausage and gravy on Sunday mornings (even though I didn’t eat sausage) and I babysat her little sister a couple of times.
Lisa and I continued our friendship in 7th grade, along with our talks about boys… mostly the older ones we — or at least I — would never really know. Lisa was a lot more “advanced” (confident) in that area than I was; she could actually hold conversations with boys she liked, while I maintained friendships with boys I liked… but only as a friend.
The summer after 7th grade, my family moved out of state for a couple of years (8th and 9th grade for me). Lisa and I kept in touch regularly by mail and when my family returned to the area before my sophomore year of high school, we started hanging out together again. But, of course, there had been two years of changes happening behind the scenes of our lives, so our bond wasn’t quite as close as it had been before. Still, I considered her a close friend.
By junior year, Lisa had already dated a couple of guys, which meant that I could no longer relate to her on certain levels since… I didn’t really view any guys at my school as being “datable”… and they (apparently) thought the same of me. 😛
After high school graduation, Lisa and I totally lost touch with each other. Decades went by… and then one day she needed copywriting help for her business, so she asked me (via LinkedIn) if I could help. I asked her if she wanted to see some writing samples to make sure she was comfortable with my experience and she said, “No, I trust you. I remember what your book reports were like in school.” (ha, ha)
After that project, we lost touch with each other again for about five years. Then, just two weekends ago, we met up for lunch. She looked a bit changed from the last time we saw each other — 12th grade. Who wouldn’t, right? Even so, I was expecting her to still have short, dark, feathered hair. She didn’t. But according to Lisa, *I* “haven’t changed a bit”!
Yea! I still look like I’m 18. Fabulous! (I think).
SO… what did Lisa and I talk about at our recent lunch outing???
Boys, of course. Okay, fine. They are now men. Whatever. Anyway… Lisa is currently a single mom with a young son, and in a relationship with a man who I will call “Blaine”. (That’s neither his real name… nor a major appliance.)
I commented to her, “Oh! You dated a ‘Blaine’ in high school, didn’t you?”
Lisa’s response, “Uhh…. It’s the same Blaine.”
“Really?!” I gasped. She’d been married at some point in the past several years and no longer was. It was nice to know she had found someone new, but I wasn’t anticipating that it would be someone from her past. “Wow. How’d that happen? Had you stayed in contact over the years?”
“Nope,” she told me. “We hadn’t seen or talked to each other since high school. Then a couple years ago, I emailed him and we hit it off.”
“So… was it really romantic when you got back together…. Had you missed him? Had he been thinking about you and missing you all that time, too?” Surely there must be deep, passionate, fateful feelings of love involved.
“No,” she stated plainly. “Nothing like that. We had both gone on with our lives with other people and had never thought of each other at all over the years.”
“Oh,” I said, refraining from banging my head on the lunch table. What I wanted to hear was a wonderful, romantic, emotion-charged back story. But… there wasn’t one. Still, it seems Blaine cares for Lisa so much that he broke things off with the woman he’d been living with for 18 years in order to be with Lisa now.
“His relationship with her was ‘just there’,” Lisa explained, using Blaine’s words. “He wanted something more than ‘just there’.”
“Well… it’s nice to know he found that in you,” I offered, remembering that Lisa never really was as romantic about her relationships as me. Perhaps deep, passionate, fateful feelings of love are overrated. Hmm.
(No, I won’t ever really believe that.)
“I’m sure it was a tough time for everyone involved,” I continued.
“Yes, very,” she said, providing only a few more details on how events unfolded.
Nevertheless, she and Blaine are together now, living out a happy ending. So… I guess that is how that scenario works out… for some people.
And… that’s about the end of my Lisa story.
However, I will sidenote here that Blaine is one of those guys who had turned left out of my parents’ driveway, into traffic, thereby blatantly ignoring my good counsel years ago. It was on a night when he had dropped me back home after a date with Lisa (I babysat her sister that night). I remember him driving too fast and not being very friendly to me. Because of that experience, I’ve never forgotten him… or the way he insisted on putting on driving gloves before starting his car.
But knowing how happy Lisa is now, I suppose none of that matters anymore (even though it sounds as if he may still insist upon wearing his driving gloves).